Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
1,928 Ratings
Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 02-07-2009

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,928 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of Phatz
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I must admit I had high hopes for enjoying this beer as I am a huge fan of Double Bocks and I was not disappointed.

Appearance: Pours a nice Doublebock color, that coppery amber caramel color with hints of a dark ruby hue to it. Big bubbles of carbonation. Nice creamy off white head.

Smell: Very malty sweet aroma. Sugar and caramel or molasses take over in nose. Dark fruits and earthy hints of leather become apparent as the beer warms.

Taste: Dark toasted malts sweet cognac and that classic amber cherry birch taste make up this fantastically palatable but interesting Double Bock. Through the middle there is a bit of hop bitterness that comes more to the forefront on the finish but only enough to keep the sweetness from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and slippery. Defiantly a medium-full body, with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a very nice beer but certainly not a session beer. A bit sweet and very quickly that 8.80 % ABV will catch up with you. I highly recommend trying this beer if you enjoy sweet Double Bocks.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a Pilsner Glass from the bottle.

The beer pours a translucent brown with hints of amber and a sizeable white head that doesn't hold well or lace well. The beer smells of sweet roasted chocolate malt and dark berry aromas. The taste also possesses the same characteristics of the smell along with some spicyness. The mouthfeel is fantastically thick but a little on the overcabonated side. Overall, fantastic drinkability. I was about to give up on the Bock style until I had this one, I will be sure to hit this one year after year.

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Photo of MarineHokie
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear dark copper w/orange-red highlights. A 2-finger beige head rapidly dissolves to a thin layer of foam leaving a thin slick lacing behind.

S - Malty, earthy with faint savory herbal notes.

T - Sweet maltiness fills mouth and coats the tongue. the darker malt flavors fight through bringing complexity with meaty, bacon, and pumpernickel aspects. A small amount of initial malt sweetness lingers to the finish.

M - Medium-heavy, hearty and slick, silky smooth.

D - Smoooth. I suspect this would be PFG with venison.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was impressed with this Sam Adams. It pours a deep brown with an inch head; no significant lacing to speak of. The smell is very sweet, even a little fruity. Taste is excellent. Considering the high alcohol content, this was relatively smooth and easy going down. Leaves a nice, fruity aftertaste -- but it is not overbearing. I also taste a general "sweet candy" in the aftertaste. Nice. Glad I picked this up in a six-pack.

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Photo of blackie
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a .3" off white head that never fully recedes and leaves little lacing. The beer is a deep reddish amber with tiny particles suspended throughout.

smell: Smells of concentrated dark fruit (dates) and caramelized sugars. Also hints of candied fruits and sugar cookies. There is a nice noble hop aroma. Very malty. Ethanol is obvious.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the low side of the medium range. The body is slick and chewy, in the middle of the heavy range.

taste: Deliciously malty. Big flavors of dark dried fruits and caramelized sugar are provided by the generous malts. There is a light hop flavor. A much needed bitterness (though slight) comes in after the sip, lingering with a sticky sweetness long into the finish. Low alcohol presence.

drinkability: This is a tasty beer. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, though it shows at times, especially as it warms.

The best by date is notced as October, I assume 2006. I picked up a six pack for the nice price of $8.45, and would like to cellar a couple until next year.



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Photo of KFaulkner
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the high alcohol doppelbocks, more bang for your buck, know what I'm saying? But aside from that, the most important part of a beer is how it's made; and Sam Adams rarely lets me down (except for their overrated Boston Lager).

Purchased as a six-pack in Hagerstown, MD, the bottle noted a drink-by date, alcohol percentage and the "malt liquor" designation; I almost poured some out for my befallen homies, but decided the beer was too good to waste.

Appearance: Gorgeous dark brown color, nice head and a frothy look.

Smell: Nutty, with a the high alcohol content barely noticeable (but there). Smelled "dark" which is about how I can describe it.

Mouthfeel: Warm and viscous, more so than I'd expect but not unpleasant at all.

Taste: Very nice, about what I'd expect from a dopplebock only smoother; the Troegenator is still my favorite double, but this went down smooth and the 8.8 didn't faze me for a second; until I had about 4 of them.

If this is what malt liquor tastes like, I only wish I could pick up a couple 40's.

Rock on beer lovers!

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Photo of macpapi
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the one Samuel Adams beer that I look forward to each year. It is not as widely distributed and a bit harder to find than the brewer's main styles. Worth looking for and at the price a steal once located.

S.A. Double Bock pours a nice deep chestnut-brown color with a small purple-tannish head. Lacing is very nice. Smells of roasted malt, nuts, caramel and toffee. Full, deep and very impressive in the nose. The taste is mainly malty and full. A touch of deep caramel is also there. Again, a very substantial flavor. Surprisingly light on alcohol presence. In the mouth the beer is sweet, with a bit of bitterness--perhaps from the 8.8% abv. Carbonation seems perfectly balanced. Overall, I would have to say this is one of the more impressive beers out there all things considered. Too drinkable for such a potent and smooth-tasting brew. To my mind, this is Sam Adam's finest beer bar none.

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Photo of barleyman
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a wonderful mahogany color. Has a small amount of dark tan head.The aroma is raisins and caramel. The taste is of sweet malt and raisins. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but not terribly so for this style. I typically enjoy Spaten Optimator, but this Samuel Adams if much more fresh and alive. Almost on par with Ayinger Celebrator. This is my standard beer until I drink up all there is for this year in town. I wish SA would brew this year round!

Just a thought,


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Photo of sacfly
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz notched SEP, “Best Before” although I’m sure this one would be great long after that. No year found though…

Pours a clear ruby red with a tan head of large bubbles. Sweet, sweet malty smell. Dark caramel. Huge body and wonderful creamy mouthfeel. Not overly sweet as the aroma would indicate. Burnt caramel flavor turns into a smooth bitter lingering aftertaste.

8.8% ABV is barley noticeable. Very smooth and refined. A perfect after diner drink to sit and savor.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber with excellent clarity. A dense, one finger head of off-white foam will show good retention and leave a few specs of lacing. Mostly clean nose, some noble hops, toasted dark malts and a few roasted notes, fusels will become apparent as it warms to room temp. The taste is very sweet, lots of toasted caramel; and a fruity ester hiding behind all that delicious malt. The aftertaste is a touch dry with some faint noble hops that I felt were not enough to balance the sweet flavor. The carbonation is at medium level, and makes a smooth mouthfeel in a truly full-bodied beer. Nothing residual in the finish, and the alcoholic ester is the only flaw in an otherwise outstanding drinkability. Perfect example of the style.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Sam Adam's does it again! I can't think of a style they do better than anybody else (correction: light and Vienna lager), however they always manage to beautifully combine price with quality. They haven't let me down yet.
This Doppelbock is an absolute delight! It is quite sweet, but that is balanced out by a nice alcohol-punch and a pinch of bitter chocolate that keeps you coming back for more. The smell is a delightfully layered one of differing malts with just enough alcohol to really get you excited, and the colour is a perfect burnt amber. The head collaspes a little quickly, but let's not nitpick here.

The only thing about this beer that is not absolutely outstanding is the mouthfeel. It is a touch thin for the style (or at least the members of the style I like) and it has a slightly sugary-sticky feel to it. But that's really the only fault I can find with this beer and it is a minor one at best. Man, gonna go buy a sixer of this tomorrow.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

After reading the post regarding this beer, I just so happened to find it at a local Total Wine for $6.79 a sixer, not a bad deal for an 8.8% abv brew.

A rough pour into my Pioneer Double Bock chalice reveals a clear, scorched amber colored brew wearing a sizzling khaki head that noisily settles to a lasting ring, leaving just a bit of lace. Lighter than expected, about the color of Optimator.

Aroma is filled with sweet, chewy caramel malt, molasses, brown sugar, honey soaked berries, and a light dusting of cocoa. There are hints of freshly baked bread and floral Noble hops.

Flavor is quite good with a big caramel and molasses malt presence that is roasty and sweet. It has light nuances of dried fruit and golden raisins with a nice dusting of chocolate powder and hints of maple syrup. It tastes pretty fresh and the Noble hop character really shines through. A tad hot and boozey at nearly 9%, probably awesome with a year on it.

Body is definately big and chewy, with a creamy slick mouthfeel and slippey, mouth-coating texture with an in your face alcohol bite at the end that needs to be tamed. A real steal for the price and one of the better American versions of this style.

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Photo of adam42381
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Very appealing in color, not as dark as I expected however.

The smell is nice with strong traces of caramel.

The taste gives away it's high alcohol content but it is somewhat masked by a chocolate/caramel flavoring. Not exactly my cup of tea, but right where a Doppelbock should be.

The mouth feel was very smooth and creamy. Very enjoyable.

Good example of this style of beer.

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Photo of Domingo
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'd been looking forward to this one after learning of it on BA.
Pours a medium-brown color. Not as dark as a typical german doppel, but more on par with a dark lager.
Smell is a nice caramel sweetness, a potent malty backgone, and even with a little yeasty sourness. Hops might be there, but I don't really notice them all that much.
Flavor is definitely malty. Not quite as potent as some others, but still very admirable. The alcohol is well hidden behind the malt. The caramel flavor is strong in this brew, which is nice if you like that (like me).
Mouthfeel and drinkability are great. Just the right mixture of thin drinkability with a thicker flavor. The only knock is that with the alcohol content and strong flavors, I'm not sure I could drink more than 2 in one sitting.
Admittedly I haven't had too many non-Bavarian doppels, but this is the best American one I've had.

EDIT: Not sure if the receipe has completely changed, but the flavor seems stronger with the new "Imperial Series" version...although the alcohol is definitely hotter, too. I'd probably rate it roughly the same with the color being a little nicer, but the drinkability lower.

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Photo of joeyels
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown amber color with a thin 1" head that fades pretty quickly, leaving moderate lacing around the glass. Tiny bubbles of carbonation rush to the top of the glass, very appealing. Smell is sweet, with a touch of chocolate, also a faint hoppiness to the nose. Taste has a prevelent sweet malt character, traces of raisin and plum, very bold and a bit tangy in flavor, hops come through ever so slightly on the back end. Delicious brew, crisp finish yet hearty at the same time. Full enough body to pair with beef, yet sweet enough to enjoy with dessert, or just fine by itself.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany dark color. Pillowy head with nice tracing all the way down. Very malty in the nose, some spices picked up. Flavors of bread, vanilla. Medium body with a creamy finish. Alcohol is detected but not overwhelming; fortunately masked by the rich sweetness. Could drink these on a biting cold night and enjoy its warming ability. Get some for yourself while it's available!

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Photo of rowew
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck - typical Sam Adams packaging. Best by month notched on the side, but no year. This is actually the first time I have found this beer in Colorado.

Appearance: Clear reddish brown in color with a medium sized head, good retention. Slight slow bubbling.

Smell: Aroma is definitely dominated by sweet malts, with just a hint of hops and alcohol in there too.

Taste: Again, sweet and malty - just a hint of floral hops at the end. The alcohol is lightly present here too. Nice mouthfeel - fairly thick with a low carbonation.

Overall impression: Very nice example of a dopplebock - especially from a fairly mainstream American brewer.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with remarkable clarity, and a nice tan head that retains well for a nearly 9% brew. The aroma kicks it up a notch, with a huge malt character that jumps out of the glass (notes of molasses, burnt bread, fig, plum, raisin and dates), some light floral hops, and some alcohol. The flavor also starts off with big malt flavors of molasses, burnt bread, dark fruits (date, fig, plum, raisin and cherry), along with some chocolate, floral and spicy hops, a hint of cinammon, and a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is full and chewy without being overwhelmingly heavy, and drinkability is good especially for a brew this high in alcohol. Overall a kickass dopplebock, a great brew for a great price.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Had to pour it roughly to encourage a head, but then ended up with an inch high head that dissipated fairly quickly, leaving a nice ring of foam and some lacing. Beautiful copper/amber/tan color, with some hints of red. Very pretty color.

Malty, sweet aroma, nicely representative of the style.

Sweet, malty flavor. Not much bitterness. Alcohol could be hidden a little bit better, but overall a good flavor.

What a mouthfeel! Thick, chewy, not much carbonation. Another nice representation of the style. Slight bitterness and alcohol remnants. Palate emerges relatively unscathed.

Thickness and ABV of this beer would limit how many you could drink in a row, but a great beer to have with your meal.

Hats off to Sam Adams for brewing a beer that IMO really gives the Germans a run for their money. I think they've beaten both Optimator and Salvator, but not Celebrator.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 release. 12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip. I always like it when the beer store prices their high alcohol beers the same as the regular ones...

SA Double Bock is deep amber to ruby in color, and perfectly clear. This beer is intense right off the bat.The nose is complex -- sweet, slightly woody, and laden with dark fruit. In the flavor we find raisin, oak, and alcohol, the latter of which has a slight warming effect upon the body's core. The malt is big and dominant, but does not weight this beer down or make it cloying. There is some bitterness in the finish that provieds a nice counterpoint to the big malt.

Double Bock is one very solid brew. Damn solid. I'm glad to see that Boston Beer, despite all their mainstream success, is still able to tackle niche styles such as this -- and with aplomb! I do believe I'll be buying more of this to throw in the ol' cellar.

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Photo of sabrills70
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with drink by date of 9/06. Pours a medium ruby red with 1/4 inch headthat faded quickly and only a bit of lace. Big huge caramel and molasses flavors with chocolate and slight roastiness. Slight dried dark fruit flavors. Huge molasses flavors mixed with brown sugar and caramel. Nice chocolate flavors and again dried dark fruit. Slightly thick and smooth. Not much alcohol presence at all. Low carbonation which explains the small head and minimal lace. This one should age very well. One of Sam's better beers. An excellent example of the style.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this baby for over a year sitting quietly in my cellar. Pours a clear dark copper, with a generous tan head that leaves abundant sticky lace as it withdraws. Aroma is Ovaltine ... that splendid malted milk concotion from my childhood, some leafy hops as the aroma fades. The first sip is milk chocolate and biscuit malts drying to an alcoholic hop finish as the beer washes over the back of the tongue. This beer has aged nicely. Lots of chocolate, muted hops and a nice dry finish. I need to buy some of the 05/06 and drink some and set some aside.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a ruby red amber, perfectly clear. No head and just a sliver of lace.

S - Sweet. Malts and molasses, very simple and pleasing.

T - Very malty with gobs of molasses. A great full flavored taste.

M - As much character as this beer has, I wish it was a bit thicker and more rich. It isn't thin by any means, but a little density to this would make it outstanding.

D - Improves as you drink it, once the flavors start to latch onto the pallet, you'll want another. Really a great beer, but be careful that 8.8% ABV doesn't sneak up on you, you can hardly, if at all, taste it.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt amber color with some ruby hues. Lots of carbonation bubbles with a creamy and fizzy head that rises to about 1/4". Head dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.
Smells good. Sweet, cherries, and a faint bready and alcohol smell.
Taste is of sweet caramel, some dark fruits and a mild alcohol finish. Leaves a nice burnt or roasted aftertaste. I like the taste, but something about it seems a little off. There is a chemical taste which seems like it shouldn't be there.
Again the drinkability is good but that funny chemical taste knocks the drinkability down a notch.
Feels fine in the mouth. Something in this beer makes me pucker a bit though.
Overall I will drink again, but not something I will make a special trip for. I think a little aging will do this beer some good.

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Photo of tweeder263
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark amber/red beer , very clear.Smell is very very subtle malty. Tasty and malty with a very subtle alcohol feel toward the end of the sip.Some hops show throughout the sip but they are dominated by the malt. Mouthfeel isnt too bad i would think its a lil bit thin but no biggie. A good big brew .

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,928 ratings.
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